The Nigerian senate has reversed it’s position on some clauses in the amended Electoral Act 2021. It includes voting, transmission of electronic result which empowered Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, to determine the suitability of transmission of results, subject to the approval of National Assembly.
The senate’s decision was informed by the consideration and approval of motion on “Re-Committal of Some Clauses of the Electoral Act repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2021” at plenary on Tuesday.
Senate had on July 15, amended clause 52(3) of the bill to empower NCC to determine the suitability of network for transmission of results electronically with the approval of National Assembly.
Presenting the motion for re-committal on clauses 43, 52, 63, and 87 of Electoral Act repeal and re-enactment bill 2021, Abdullahi Abubakar seconded by Adamu Alero said after critical examination of the bill by Senate Committee on INEC, they noticed there were some fundamental issues that required fresh legislative action on some clauses.
He said there was need to address the observation by the committee and make necessary amendments based on order 1 (b) and 53(6) of the Senate standing order.
“Senate accordingly rescinds it’s decision on the affected clauses of the bill as passed and re-commit same to the committee of the whole for consideration and passage,” Mr Abubakar said.
Senate after a voice vote amended the clause 52 to now empower INEC to determine mode of voting and transmission of results.
Other clauses that Senate rescinded its decision was on clauses 43, ,63, and 87 which borders on mode of conduct of primary elections by political parties, ballot boxes and voting devices
Senator Smart Adeyemi was against the amendment of clause 87 to introduce direct primary election. The clause had earlier prescribed for political parties to decide to conduct direct or indirect primary elections.
Adeyemi, however, said motion to amend the clause to introduce direct primaries would make the electoral process burdensome to the people. However, some senators supported the motion for amendment, they include Senators Opeyemi Bamidele, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Abdulfatai Buhari.
President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan in his remarks, urged members of the Senate conference committee to take into consideration, the debates of senators during harmonization of the bill with the House of Representatives Conference Committee.